11JUN2012 – Early Monday morning finds me just this side of introducing the contents of my stomach to an oxygen-rich environment. The room is spinning like a goddamned centrifuge. One minute I was unknotting my clenched social soul over nerd karaoke at the Waystation and the next I find myself reeling from the effects of devil rum, storm-trooping my way through the narrow aisles of a bodega at the top of my block and trading hard credits for a king-hell cylinder of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. Somehow I made it home. Figured out the microwave. Put food into a bowl.
The cats seem pleased by my arrival. One of them sidles up close to me and, after bathing my arm with his hairbrush tongue, proceeds to snort the salt from my skin with a tiny straw while reporting enthusiastically on the status of his investment portfolio. He swears Tim Horton’s is a gold mine. I nod, pretending to be interested. Bland agreement is often the best way to handle a drug fiend. I just want the room to stop spinning…
As the universe inhales, cracks will begin to form. Close your eyes, cross your arms and fall backwards into the opening between matter, allowing everything to close tight around you, comforting, like arms. Hidden from view, safe, somewhere else. When the next breath is taken, you will find yourself exhaled at the entrance to a dollar store along the outer rim of the Milky Way. You are a long way from home. This is what you want, this is what you get.
There is almost no point to my writing anymore. It’s like playing mumblety-peg with a fogbank, sword fighting with a forest fire, or aiming myself at a half-formed phantom in the darkness and leaping for it with arms outstretched, already too late. Trip the shutter a second an instant after you should and you’ve missed the action. Anyone who knows anything knows that.
Days later. Now at Breuklyn, attempting to decipher ‘The Ticket That Exploded’ and drinking iced coffee. June has been a pig-fucker for rain, but I don’t mind. I prefer to dress like a hiker anyway. As I stood in line to pay the cashier, I watched a skateboarder flow his way against the river of traffic. I imagined a camera that could show me a close up of his fingertips as they grazed the aerodynamic surface of each parked car, blasting aside droplets in slow motion macro-explosions, as though clearing the way for a tiny four-lane highway. Raindrops collide with the sidewalk creating bubbles no one gives a shit about.
I love this back room. It reminds me of a construction site with lipstick. The courtyard to my far left is a storm of leftover building materials and dirt-packed wine bottles. The doorway looks as thought it was kicked into place and the floor under my feet is splattered with dirty paint and a lone area rug, which really ties the room together. There are two faux-leather chairs and a couch here, and a coffee table with a hinged surface under which books on art and a deck of playing cards can be seen.
More pondering on the nature of relationships: Take the couple across from me, sharing a joke and a giggle at the song playing over the radio. They appear to be at that point in their relationship where Questions will be posed. Or maybe they’ve passed that marker.
Maybe they’re at the point in the relationship where they’ve met each other’s parents. Maybe they’ve already made that “late night drive home from the Petersons’ dinner party” and they’re still completely gob-smacked at the news that the Petersons are getting a divorce — or getting married, or adopting an emu, or, possibly, the Petersons have decided to undergo a series of costly operations and swap genders but stay married anyway. Presently, talk falls to the floor mats and silence descends over the couple. He’s got one hand on the wheel, mesmerized by the dotted lines disappearing up the nose of the car as he finds himself wondering how he arrived at this moment. Maybe he’s thinking back to the first time he met the woman to his right. He liked the way her young ass looked in a pair of stretch pants, like a lost baby bird that needed to be tenderly scooped up and placed back in the nest. Presently he realizes she’s staring back at him, grinning like an idiot and thinking how lucky she is to have him and maybe they’ll be okay.
Or maybe she’s turned to the right, shoulders hunched as she stares out the passenger window watching the miles roll away, thinking back to a night not so long ago when his best friend fucked her so hard she saw stars and she lied about the reason she changed the sheets mid-week. Maybe she’s trying to find a way to tell him that their paths will be diverging soon.
But for now they seem happy, dressed like stereotypes and smiling like there’s no tomorrow.
Life is sitting in a radio shack hammering out dots and dashes, wondering if anyone can hear you,